In 2012, Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy asked Cynthia and Robert Giffords to rent their farm in Schaghticoke, New York, for their same-sex marriage. The Giffords, who are fully involved in all aspects of the wedding celebrations on their farm, refused because they believe marriage is between a man and a woman as a matter of religious conscience. However, they run a business open to the public.
This case is unusual because the law is being applied to a private residence.
The New York State government has carved out special sex exemptions in the law that prevent businesses from ‘discriminating’ based on sexual orientation because they serve as a ‘public accommodation’. This is under New York’s Human Right’s Law, art. 15.
The Giffords do not bar LGBTs in any way except they will not perform same-sex marriages because of their beliefs.
The Giffords must now pay $10,000 in fines to New York State and $1500 a piece to the two gay women for pain and suffering. New York State makes out in this deal. If the Giffords can’t pay in 60 days, they will be fined a 9 percent interest rate.
The government has also ordered them to institute re-education classes for their staff like any communist or Nazi regime would.
People are no longer allowed to hold this belief and act on it in business.
Should the government be allowed to force people to act against their consciences in business? Should they be forced to not only accept it, but also promote it among staff members?
Businesses must now celebrate same-sex marriages.
If the government can do this, they can certainly do it again and again in all kinds of circumstances. There is no longer any religious freedom unless the government says there is religious freedom. They will decide what freedoms you will have.
Under the law, if a business in New York is open to the public, it must consider that they have to serve all the public but should the government be in the position of re-educating businesses in their ideals?
What do you think? At what point can an individual have rights of conscience?
SOURCE: RELIGION NEWS